Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Last Dinosaur

I wonder if the dinosaurs knew what was coming?

Did their dinosaur God warn them they were about to go, or simply pull the rug out from under their giant feet?

Did they have time to put their affairs in order, say goodbye to one another and find a comfortable place in which to face extinction?

Were they going about their business, munching placidly on the local vegetation when the end came, or were they all staring at the sky at a cataclysmic moment?

Did the dinosaurs have any clue that newer creatures, better suited to a changed environment, were going to take over their domain?

I wonder about these things. Especially when, as is so often true these days, I'm feeling a bit dinosaur-ish myself.

What a life. One day, you're nibbling on the high branches and thinking there aren't many fellow creatures bigger -- or better-suited to their environment -- than you; suddenly, you're on your way to becoming part of a puddle of petroleum. From master of all you survey to a short second life in the gas tank of an SUV or minivan.

Even given the limited cognitive powers of their tiny brains, it must have been frustrating as hell for the dinosaurs to sense those first indications that their kind was no longer needed, no longer had a place in the food chain.

They must have sensed it.

I do.

Some of my kind can apparently interact with the new breed that is taking over the world. I can't.

All I ever wanted to do was nibble at the vegetation and make -- or at least practice making -- little dinosaurs.

But the new breed -- those who know the tricks to get others to bring the food to them -- have no need of me. Neither, apparently, do any of the other new life-forms. I'm in their way, and they play by new rules which my tiny brain isn't flexible enough to allow me to adapt to.

Metaphorically, all I'm good for is a few miles'-worth of forward travel in their cars. After that, I'm hydrocarbons.

And when some well-intentioned scientist reconstructs me and puts me on display in a museum, the children of a few members of the new breed will stare, and perhaps fantasize about what life must have been like when creatures like me walked the Earth.

An exact, lifeless replica of me for the kiddies to gawk at will do me no more good than it did the dinosaurs. I'll still be fuel for their mothers' cars and airplanes, as they rush to cohabit with members of the new breed.

It's hell being a dinosaur. I know this.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Westy will be so surprised to have a date with a puddle of oil.

Anonymous said...

Oh. Forgot to sign.

Fin

lowandslow said...

I understand what you mean, Scribbs. But I wonder if every generation, as they're getting a bit long in the tooth, thinks the same thing? I suspect every adult when they reach a certain age and looks around, sees new technologies and makes that same dinosaur analogy. :)

picaboblu said...

Best dinosaur analogy I've seen. That's my feeling some days--gang way for the newer, faster, "better" models.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Scribs. I think you will be just fine.

Gill

betty said...

You aren't a dinasour. You're a sweet and gentle man and I miss you. I'm still praying that something wonderful will happen for you this year.

MrScribbler said...

Gill -- I bet you say that to all the dinosaurs....

kathy said...

I remember feeling like a dinosaur back when I was waitressing and all the others were about 10 years younger. Now, I feel alright.
I don't think we actually hit dinosaur status until we're 65 :)

MrScribbler said...

I thought the same, Kathy, but the last year has proven me wrong. My place has been taken.

Just call me precocious...I'm hitting dinosaur-hood ahead of schedule!

DAL said...

I'm going to do my damnedest to "interact" with as many younger dinosaurs as I can and practice making even younger ones.

Just practice, mind you. Don't need anymore dinos in the food chain (or in a future puddle of petroleum).

MrScribbler said...

I admire your pluck, dal. Sadly, even new glasses aren't enough for select members of the new breed to see that this dinosaur is worth saving....

T-E said...

I saw a Far Side cartoon once showing a bunch of dinosaurs smoking under a tree as the reason for their extinction.

HarpO'Fly said...

We got milage left. If not why think about it? I don't have nerve enough to look at it all at once.
Must be something to seel all those baby boomers who managed to sock away a good retirement. Maybe we'll turn the tables on them yet.

HarpO'Fly said...

sell not seel.
Time for payback.

Anonymous said...

As mother would say, "Ain't it the truth?"
lz

Birdie said...

when I come to visit, I am going to INVITE you to Disneyland where I hope you have a chance to feel like a kid again! None of this Dinosaur nonsense, you hear me???

Birdie aka Westy!!

Anonymous said...

It worries me when you start likening yourself to animals that nibble on vegetation....

-Lauren